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Extremely basic chemistry question

  1. Aug 25, 2014 #1
    Hello, I was wondering if anyone could help to explain something simple to me, I am lost for answers, and this is something a 7th grader should know I am assuming.

    C2H2 + N2O ---> CO2 + N2 + H2O. Now this may seem like a retarded question, but how can there be two oxygen molecules in the completed reaction formula when there's one in the original? Is it because this reaction is somehow producing another oxygen atom? or is there some balancing problems that I have? I am a novice at chemistry, just started taking it, so some clearification would be really helpful.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 25, 2014 #2
    Sorry!! Saw no homeworks in here, so sorry for posting it in this section!
  4. Aug 25, 2014 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    This is not balanced yet. Such a reaction equation is called "skeleton equation".

    There are no oxygen molecules in this reaction equation. Oxygen molecule is O2.

    I guess you mean the reaction equation.

    I will repeat: there are no oxygen molecules in the equation.

    I guess what you are trying to ask is "How come there is a single atom of oxygen on the left hand side, but three on the right hand side" - and the answer is "this is a skeletal reaction equation, not balanced yet".

    No chemical reaction is capable of producing atoms - they are always conserved (number of atoms of every kind after the reaction equals number of atoms of every kind before the reaction).
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